Ayrshire LEADER Programme 2015 - 2020

The LEADER approach in Ayrshire is about the proactive ‘animation’ of a territory and developing links between actions for the development of the rural economy. In this way the LEADER approach builds social and economic capital. LEADER is also about the added value that flows from the bottom-up and partnership approach with better identification of local needs and local solutions, more engagement on the part of local stakeholders and greater scope for innovation.

Applicants should contact the provider direct to discuss the levels of funding available.

Apply

Before You Start

LEADER (Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l'Economie Rurale - links between actions for the development of the rural economy) is part of the Scotland Rural Development Programme, which funds economic, environmental and social measures for the benefit of rural Scotland.

Funded by the European Union and Scottish Government, the 2014-2020 LEADER Programme will be delivered in Ayrshire by the Ayrshire Local Action Group (LAG).

The LEADER approach is about the proactive ‘animation’ of a territory and developing links between actions for the development of the rural economy. In this way the LEADER approach builds social and economic capital. LEADER is also about the added value that flows from the bottom-up and partnership approach with better identification of local needs and local solutions, more engagement on the part of local stakeholders and greater scope for innovation.

Restrictions

Applicants should contact the provider direct to discuss any exclusions that may apply.

What You Need To Know

Key Criteria

Any type of organisation in Ayrshire can apply for funding to participate in the LEADER programme.

LEADER is primarily a rural fund - applicants should check the Local Development Strategy for eligible areas.

Match Funding

Applicants will need to provide the remainder of funding from alternative sources.

Eligible Expenditure

Information on the objectives and associated priority actions that will be funded in the 2015-2020 programme is available via the Ayrshire Community Led Local Development Strategy which can be accessed via the following link:

http://www.ayrshire-leader.com/assets/downloadFiles/Ayrshire%20LDSFINAL%2030_9_14.pdf

Theme 1: Fostering Business & Enterprise

OBJECTIVE: By 2020, rural Ayrshire realises its full economic potential with more and better employment opportunities for its people provided through creating or enhancing small rural enterprises, creating new jobs and increasing the skills base.

Support will be directed to micro businesses, including those in tourism etc. to improve their competitiveness and/or facilitate diversification from primary production. Initiatives supported under this theme will need to demonstrate how they meet the following PRIORITIES:

  • Creating and/or supporting small and micro enterprises.
  • Creating and/or safeguarding jobs.
  • Building business capacity and skills, e.g. through support networks or forums, business incubators and mentoring.
  • Facilitating and supporting farm diversification.
  • Identifying and developing new markets for new and existing products or services.
  • Support new bespoke initiatives to provide skills which will help deliver enhancements to existing businesses and assist in the start-up of new companies.
  • Foster entrepreneurship through small scale pilot initiatives to trial new rural business ideas.

Theme 2: Connecting People & Places

OBJECTIVE: By 2020, people living and working in rural Ayrshire are better connected physically, digitally and socially and are able to access the amenities and services they need.

Initiatives supported under this theme will need to demonstrate how they meet the following PRIORITIES:

  • Creating affordable transport solutions that link key demographic groups (e.g. young people, older people) with the amenities and services they need (e.g. employment, training and health and social care services).
  • Support and mentoring to increase digital inclusion.
  • Intergenerational activities to facilitate digital, social or physical connections.
  • Supporting community facilities (e.g. centres) to become well used, high profile and multi-purpose, connected community hubs.

Theme 3: Promoting Tourism, Culture & Heritage

OBJECTIVE: By 2020 rural Ayrshire’s people better capitalise on the area’s cultural, historical, recreational and natural assets to improve the visitor experience, visitor numbers & spend, and local skills & employment in tourism.

Initiatives supported under this theme will need to demonstrate how they meet the following PRIORITIES:

  • Creating connections between sectors (e.g. food & drink and local crafts) through knowledge exchange, networking and collaboration.
  • Promoting, showcasing and marketing Ayrshire’s assets.
  • Supporting skills development in tourism-related activities.
  • Improving the visitor experience and visitor infrastructure.

Theme 4: Celebrate Our Natural Environment

OBJECTIVE: By 2020, rural Ayrshire's people have increased awareness, knowledge and enthusiasm to reap the social, economic and environmental benefits of the area’s abundant natural assets.

Initiatives supported under this theme will need to demonstrate how they meet the following PRIORITIES:

  • Increasing awareness of and interest in the area’s biodiversity.
  • Enhancing and protecting the area’s natural heritage.
  • Reducing the local carbon footprint through actions on climate change.
  • Improving access to the natural environment.

Theme 5: Supporting Coastal Communities

OBJECTIVE: By 2020, key rural coastal communities in Ayrshire are sustainable through diversifying their local economies with an increase in employment and skills of people living in these areas, whilst protecting the marine environment.

Initiatives supported under this theme will need to demonstrate how they meet the following PRIORITIES:

  • Supporting lifelong learning and job creation in fisheries areas, maintaining the skills of fishermen as fishermen and re-skilling them to be able to offer new services (e.g. to tourism or renewables).
  • Supporting coastal communities to diversity their local economies through, for example, improving the tourism offer (e.g. through providing easy access to the water for recreation) and supporting the use of local food in Ayrshire restaurants and markets.
  • Creating links between and adding value to existing marine initiatives (e.g. Marine Spatial Planning, the work of Clyde 2020) and between marine and freshwater environments.
  • Strengthening the role of fisheries communities in local development and the governance of local fisheries resources.

How To Apply

Deadline(s):

Applicants should contact the provider direct to discuss any deadlines that may apply.

Link to guidelines:

http://www.ayrshire-leader.com/Introduction.html

Useful information:

If applicants have an idea for a LEADER project they should complete the Expression of Interest form which is available to access from the website.

The submission of an EoI is the first formal step in applying for LEADER funding.